Back in my Bible-thumper Jesus freak days of my youth, if anyone dared to mutter this phrase to me “What if we are all just stardust?” I would no doubt have been praying for their poor misguided New Age soul. Now that I’m older and I have expanded my viewpoint beyond just the Baptist philosophies preached at the pulpit, to that of science, anatomy/physiology, analytical chemistry, color theory, psychology, and philosophy, I look at this statement with intrigue and curiosity. As a scientist of humanity it only feels right to explore this statement against Scripture and see what turns out. Perhaps revelation. . .
The first verse comes to my AWANA scholar mind is in Genesis, the words “dust thou art and dust thou will return” is used. Now, common theology interprets that as decomposition of the body over time. We think of how bodies that are not preserved give life to plants from the richness of its nutrients. We assume that because the dust from the ground is specifically identified both as the substance from which Adam is formed and return to that it is nothing more than the ground. However, if we explored the concept of the ground, being the next thing formed (Genesis 1:9), just after the Heavens, (Genesis 1:8) then could the ground be the source of the stardust? Under this theory, the forming of Adam, as with the rest of creation suddenly takes on a less magical feel and becomes that of a scientifically engineered project by the great Creator. Able to speak but a word and form molecular bonds that create all sorts of life from the ground, the ground that holds the stardust. What does Genesis start with? Light. From that light came the formation of life.
So how does the rest of the Bible treat light? What does it say about it? And in the concept of “we all came from stardust,” do the words take on a deeper, more profound meaning that transcends all time — speaking to the audiences of today with advance knowledge of science and medicine from the writers of the past?
My not-so-New Scofield Study System Bible, with its worn edges and note filled pages, serves me well in these sessions of contemplation. Turning to the index, it lists 60 verse under the specific word “light.” This is a good start.
John 1:3-5 says, “All things are made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not.” Prior to these verses it talks about the beginning of time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Having established the time line of the beginning and then the juxtaposition of verses 3-5, are we giving this enough credence if we only assume that the “light” being referred to is metaphorical as a beacon that shines the way to salvation, rather than astronomical — the light of the start of our universe? The verse “in him was life; and the life was the light of men” fits in our stardust purview. God being the light, that same light that formed man’s being, that same light that man is made in the image of God. Not the image as shown by the outer appearance of the human body but its molecular structure. I wonder, that if we created a microscope that was more powerful than what we have today, what kind of hidden mysteries would we find? What connections would we make that seem impossible now?
I like this idea of humans coming from light particles (stardust) that were formed in God’s image, “the light”, because it removes this superiority complex that grips human-kind in constantly comparing each others’ outer appearance and appendages as though they somehow make one more godly or of higher worth than the other. That if we just look at the light particles that are in us, the molecular world with all its hidden mysteries we can’t see yet, then we will find that we truly are all the same. All made in the image of God. It would stand in the face of the long history of the superior race or superior nation. It would stand in the face of selfishness. It would not be embraced and reviled at in fists of fury because it destroys the pedestals. Yet, I think its closer to what God wanted for us, the unity he wanted for us, when he first put humans in the Garden of Eden.
I will be exploring this concept further. Its a good exercise to keep me from being stagnant in my religion and prevents me from cutting off my heart and mind from hearing the Holy Spirit speak in my life through the people around me and circumstances set before me.
Expanding our minds by asking the question, “What if?” and then using the Scriptures to analyze the question further is what studying the Scriptures is about– ask, seek, examine, compare, contrast, analyze, summate, and share the results taking the feedback and repeating the process again and again learning something new each time. Were we tasked with the Great Commission by Christ to save souls or to discover more about who we are? Expanding our perspective lenses, makes it easier to empathize with each other, having discovered our common denominators that make us all so much more alike then we realize. What if that common denominator was stardust?